|The province of Siracusa
Francofonte (Zip Code 96015) is 196 Km. distant from Agrigento, 134 Km. from Caltanissetta, 45 Km. from Catania, 114 Km. from Enna, 141 Km. from Messina, 276 Km. from Palermo, 60 Km. from Ragusa, 61 Km. from Siracusa, that is the province it belongs to, 369 Km. from Trapani.
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The municipality has 14.481 inhabitants, its surface measures 7.395 hectares and its population density counts 196 inhabitants for square kilometre. It rises along the coast, over a hilly area, 281 metres above the sea-level.
The Town Hall is located in piazza G.Garibaldi, tel. ++39 0957-887111 fax. ++39 0959-49941. E-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is mainly an agriculture centre and it produces citrus fruits, wheat and olives.
The town takes its name from the homonymous castle, around which the medieval settlement was founded in the 14th century, under the Chiaramontes' dominion.
Anyway, the first historical evidences of an inhabited settlement date back to the 2nd century AD: they talk about a city called Hydra, of Greek origin.
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In 1394 Berengario Cruyllas was entitled baron; from 1509 to 1532 it was Moncadas' property, and then it belonged to the Gravinas During the 14th and 15th centuries a population decrease occurred, because of the agriculture crisis which stroke Sicily and the subsequent emigration to the nearby areas. An increase in population occurred after the earthquake in 1693.
Among the most important monuments we mention the medieval castle, the former Palazzo del Marchese (18th century) and the Mother Church.
An interesting story on Francofonte involves the nobleman Adinolfo Mortillaro, Castle of Gàdara's owner, who, having to leave for the Sicilian Vespers, left his beloved wife alone. The legend tells she died of a broken heart just after his departure.